I’m a perpetual student. I’ve been taking college classes on and off for about 8 years now, with the only universally recognized academic credential I have being an Associates Degree. But throughout that time I’ve dipped my toes into different disciplines and have chased after work that I find interesting or meaningful.
At one point I was an aspiring astronomer, at another an aspiring welder, and right now an aspiring conservationist (which, for once, I have some optimism in my ability to stick to). My work history however, has had me in positions tinkering with 3D modeling and 3D printing, taking inventory and receiving for a warehouse, and even working as an AEMT on an ambulance. It’s become a bit of a running joke that I will never hold down a job for an extended period of time, and I’ve come to accept that that is more than likely the reality of things. There are too many things in this world that are so damn neat!
How I’d love to experience the
world from the perspective of a sanitation worker, an agricultural
laborer, a soil scientist, or even a teacher. I chase after these things
I find interesting because it’s captivating to be able to view and
understand all of the roles that each of us play. Part of the beauty of
our world is how we are all part of this extraordinarily intricate web,
both in our place in nature and in our place in society. We are stewards
of nature as well as our fellow man, to care for and nurture them to be
at their very best.
But how I live seems to be fundamentally
incompatible with ideas of conventional success. I occasionally struggle
with this aspect of my life, as it seems I can come off as
noncommittal, unmotivated, and undisciplined. And in some ways I
absolutely have been. It’s difficult to make the decision
to follow through with unstable but interesting goals rather than stable
and pragmatic ones. There is an ever-present societal consciousness
that looks down on those who don't fit the very narrow mold of what
But why should I make myself miserable to meet
the requirements that have been decided for me by people who don’t have
the slightest understanding of my circumstances, interests, or
worldview? The simple answer is that I shouldn’t. And because I haven't
done so, I have been able to gauge which disciplines bring me joy or
misery. I've been able to meet people from a wide variety of creeds and
hear their stories. And I've been able to hear so many tales of passion,
beauty, anger, and sadness that permeate our very existences, with each
speaker providing a unique and fascinating backdrop from which their
experiences originate. I very much doubt I would appreciate life the
same way I do now had I remained steadfastly on one track without
looking in any other direction. If I had done that, would my life be
more materially comfortable? Probably. But materials have very rarely
enriched my life in any meaningful sense in the first place.
We all have one opportunity to experience this, why squander it in the pursuit of something as dull and as temporary as material possessions?"No one has ever lied on their death bed and thought 'I wish I had spent more time at the office.'" -Someone, somewhere, that had said this to me at some point.